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The SLC’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The SLC has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 124 Spider doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The SLC’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The SLC offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
The SLC’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The SLC has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the SLC and the 124 Spider have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.
The Mercedes SLC weighs 868 to 948 pounds more than the Fiat 124 Spider. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the SLC’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 124 Spider’s camshaft. If the 124 Spider’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 115 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.
The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 81 more horsepower (241 vs. 160) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the 124 Spider’s standard 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 77 more horsepower (241 vs. 164) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the 124 Spider Abarth’s standard 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the SLC’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The SLC has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 124 Spider (15.9 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Mercedes SLC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 124 Spider.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 124 Spider.
For better stopping power the SLC’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 124 Spider:
For better traction, the SLC has larger tires than the 124 Spider (F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17 vs. 195/50R16). The SLC 300’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 124 Spider (F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17 vs. 205/45R17).
The SLC 300’s standard 225/45R17 front and 245/40R17 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 124 Spider Classica’s standard 50 series tires. The SLC’s optional 225/40R18 front and 245/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the SLC 300 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 124 Spider Classica. The SLC’s optional 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.
The Mercedes SLC’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 124 Spider only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
The SLC has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 124 Spider; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The SLC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The 124 Spider’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The SLC offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 124 Spider’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The SLC has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the SLC’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the 124 Spider (95.7 inches vs. 90.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the SLC is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the 124 Spider.
For excellent aerodynamics, the SLC has standard flush composite headlights. The 124 Spider has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The SLC’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
The SLC has .6 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the 124 Spider.
The SLC has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 124 Spider (6.5 vs. 4.9 cubic feet).
With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SLC offers cargo security. The 124 Spider’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
The SLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 124 Spider uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Fiat. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 127% lower rating, Fiat is ranked 31st.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the SLC has a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
When three different drivers share the SLC, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a memory system.
The SLC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The SLC’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 124 Spider has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The SLC’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The 124 Spider’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.
If the windows are left open on the SLC the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 124 Spider can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
In case of a sudden change of weather, the SLC offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in and manually raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.
The SLC’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 124 Spider Classica’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the SLC to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
The SLC has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 124 Spider has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Lusso/Abarth.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the SLC detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The SLC’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 124 Spider’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.
The SLC’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Fiat offers heated mirrors for extra charge, but only on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.
When the SLC is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 124 Spider’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The SLC’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the SLC’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a filtration system.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SLC offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
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